Published January 20, 2011 - 6:07am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Recruiting is an inexact science. While the major recruiting services like Rivals and Scout do their best to rank the high school athletes, there are lots of variables that can impact the correlation between a “star ranking” and the on-field performance of the athlete. In some cases, some of the highest recruits fail to do much at all (John Brantley anyone?)
Rivals put together a good list of last year’s five-star recruits and how they did on the field for their respective school this past season. I’ve pulled out the SEC players and listed them below:
Florida DE Ronald Powell
Buzz: Powell recorded 16 solo tackles, nine assists, three tackles for loss, one sack and two pass breakups, and he spent about half the season playing linebacker. He made one start on defense, and nine of his tackles came in a late-season game against Appalachian State.
Florida DT Sharrif Floyd
Buzz: Floyd made two starts this season — including the Outback Bowl victory over Penn State — and finished with 23 tackles. He recorded eight tackles for loss to tie for fourth on the team in that category. Floyd should move into the starting lineup next season.
Florida DT Dominique Easley
Buzz: Easley played six games and made four tackles. Easley didn’t accompany the team to a win at Vanderbilt for disciplinary reasons, and he was the subject of occasional transfer rumors.
Tennessee WR Da’Rick Rogers
Buzz: Rogers finished his freshman season with 11 caches for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He caught a 45-yard touchdown pass in the Music City Bowl loss to North Carolina and had a 22-yard touchdown reception in a 50-14 triumph over Memphis. Five of his 16 catches came in the final two games of the season.
South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore
Buzz: Lattimore certainly lived up to the hype. The top running back prospect in the 2010 class rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns to make the biggest impact of any freshman this season. He rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over Florida that helped South Carolina clinch its first SEC East title. He reached the end zone three times against Troy and scored two touchdowns each against Southern Miss, Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky.
Auburn RB Michael Dyer
Buzz: Dyer will live in Auburn lore forever for his unbelievable 37-yard run that set up the winning field goal in the Tigers’ 22-19 BCS championship game victory over Oregon. Dyer ran for 143 yards against Oregon to cap a season in which he rushed for 1,093 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry.
LSU ATH Spencer Ware
Buzz: Ware closed his freshman season by rushing for 102 yards on only 10 carries in a Cotton Bowl victory over Texas A&M. Before the bowl game, Ware had only 24 carries for 175 yards. Stevan Ridley’s decision to enter the NFL draft gives Ware a chance to emerge as LSU’s main running back in 2011, though Michael Ford also will be competing for that role.
Auburn OT Shon Coleman
Buzz: While his future teammates were driving toward a national championship, Coleman was undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Coleman was diagnosed with the disease last spring and just enrolled in school last week with the 2011 early enrollees. He isn’t expected to play in 2011, but he could be cleared in time to play the following season.
Alabama CB DeMarcus Milliner
Buzz: Milliner made 11 starts at cornerback this season and ranked fourth on his team with 55 tackles. He also delivered four tackles for loss, one interception and seven pass breakups. Milliner made a season-high nine tackles in a 28-27 loss to Auburn.
Florida S Matt Elam
Buzz: Elam made 22 tackles — two for loss — and one sack while playing primarily in a nickelback role this season. He delivered his first career sack in a loss to Alabama. Elam will enter spring practice as the favorite to replace the departed Ahmad Black as Florida’s starting strong safety.